Volleyball team ups winning streak to 5
The Cougars extended their winning streak to five games after a weekend sweep against Southern Miss, giving them 10 wins in the last 12 games. The team has won five in a row for the second time this season.
“We came in, prepared well and we did a good job of taking care of back-to-back matches,” head coach Molly Alvey said.
UH (11-8, 5-2 C-USA) handled Southern Miss (8-9, 1-5 C-USA) 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 25-20, 25-23) on Sunday, led by 16 kills and 13 digs from Ingrida Zauere.
“She stepped up,” Alvey said. “For the past month and a half, she has been a very consistent player. She keeps getting better, she adds consistency, and it’s not necessarily flashy play.”
A thrilling first game found the Cougars and Golden Eagles in a 20-20 tie. The Cougars ended the set on a 5-0 run to win 25-20. The Golden Eagles dominated the second game, going on a 6-1 run to gain a comfortable 18-8 lead en route to winning the set 25-18.
The Cougars answered with a win in the third set to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Southern Miss jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the fourth set. UH took the lead at 15-12, but the Golden Eagles regained momentum to take a 19-18 lead. The two teams would alternate the next six points to tie it 21-21. The Cougars fell behind 23-22, but scored the next three points to win the match.
“I think it will definitely help us in the future because it was a really tough match,” Zauere said. “It’s going to help us in other games when it is as tough and we will know we can actually win.”
Saturday’s match featured a similar result as UH upended Southern Miss 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-23), led by double-doubles from Marluci Toazzi (10 kills and 10 digs) and Zauere (10 kills and 13 digs).
The Cougars got a surprise four kills to go along with 11 first-set assists from setter Amber Brooks as a 10-4 run following an 11-11 tie fueled the win.
“We played consistent, we were very aggressive,” Brooks said. “The aggressiveness always hopes going after every ball.”
Southern Miss came out firing in the second set, scoring seven of the first eight points to go up13-5. UH would battle back to pull within 24-22, but the rally came up short as the Golden Eagles took the set with an error on the final point.
The Cougars scored four consecutive points to take a 22-18 after the score was 18-18 in the third set. The Golden Eagles fought back to score five of the next seven points to make it a 24-23 game as UH called timeout. The Cougars scored the clinching point on Chandace Tryon’s kill to give them a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set.
The Golden Eagles began game four with a 4-0 lead, but UH scored the next four to make it 4-4. It was tied up at 17 as UH looked to close USM out and win the match. The Cougars gained momentum to take a 20-18 and ended a late Southern Miss run to win the game 25-23 and the match.
“I thought they did a great job. Southern Miss is a team that just keeps bringing the ball back to you, but we stayed patient,” Alvey said.
The Cougars return to the court Friday against Memphis, as four of the next six contests will be road games. The next scheduled home game is Oct. 22 against Tulsa. Coached by April Jauregui, Memphis (11-7, 2-4 C-USA) is coming off a loss to SMU after being swept Sunday.
The Cougars are slated for a evening matchup against the Mustangs at Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tenn. Returning on Oct. 17, the Cougars will face off against the UAB in Birmingham, Ala.